Followers and engagement

How To Build A Strong Instagram Presence: The Definitive Guide for 2022

  • 16 Minutes
Instagram presence is the term used to describe how immediate, actionable, and personal your Instagram feed feels - and everyone's doing it wrong.

 With over two billion active users worldwide, Instagram is an unbeatable platform for brands and businesses in 2022. Whether you’re looking to boost brand awareness, build trust or increase sales, building a strong Instagram presence is a surefire way to hit your business goals. 

But the truth is simply signing up for an Instagram account isn’t going to be enough to move the needle for your business. Instead, you’ll have to understand how the algorithm works, what your target audience wants to see from you and what kinds of posts you need to prioritize in your content marketing strategy.

Luckily, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to everything you need to know about growing a strong Instagram presence. Keep reading to discover what makes a powerful Instagram marketing strategy and a stack of practical tips you can implement today to boost your results on social media. 

Why a strong Instagram presence is essential in your social media marketing strategy in 2022

As a brand or business, you have more options than ever before when it comes to your social media strategy. From what social networks you add to your mix to what kind of content you create, it’s important to carefully consider what platforms and posts will have the biggest impact on your bottom line.

That’s what makes Instagram such a winning choice for business across every industry and niche. As one of the largest social media platforms, Instagram offers a stack of handpicked features to help your brand reach new audiences, engage your ideal customers and inspire them to take action.

The key to seeing the best results from Instagram marketing is this: you need to create a strong, active Instagram presence. That means developing a clear social media strategy, setting up a consistent posting schedule and proactively engaging with your followers on a regular basis.

Still not convinced if Instagram is right for your business? Here’s why a strong Instagram presence is non-negotiable in 2022:

  • Instagram marketing boost your brand awareness: with a clear content marketing strategy, you can get your business name in front of potential customers even before they realize they need your services. 
  • Instagram marketing increases your reach: by learning how the Instagram algorithm works, you can tap into hashtags, trending topics and platform features to get discovered on the platform and boost your reach.
  • Instagram marketing gives you access to your ideal customers: by experimenting with Instagram ads, you can target the delivery of your content to your ideal customers and target market.
  • Instagram marketing builds trust with potential customers: with savvy content marketing, you can win trust from potential customers by sharing value-driven content that connects, convinces and converts.
  • Instagram marketing helps your business stand out from your competitors: plus, by cultivating a thriving Instagram presence, you can position your brand as a leader in your field. Instagram is a powerful source of social proof for your business and can help to move customers down the buyer funnel and convert sooner.

Ready to learn about how to make the most of your Instagram strategy? Let’s run you through the essential ingredients to include in your content marketing strategy on Instagram. 

What are the ingredients of a powerful Instagram marketing strategy?

We’re big fans of developing social media strategies here at Sked Social. Why? Well, a strategy gives you a framework for success. 

It explains what objectives you’re working towards, who you’re trying to reach and what kind of content will help you get there. Think of your social media strategy as your roadmap to boost your follower, increase your engagement rate and fast-track your business growth. 

But what should you include in your Instagram strategy? Here are five key steps to map out:

Step 1: Set goals and objectives 

All quality content has one thing in common: it’s anchored by goals and objectives. That’s because goals give your content purpose, structure and a strategic focus. 

No matter what stage in your journey you’re at or what kind of business you’re running, goals need to be at the core of every decision you make on social media. These objectives will help you decide what platforms are right for your business, how often you should be posting and even what kind of content pillars and themes to prioritize.

So, what kind of goals should you be setting as part of your Instagram marketing strategy? A great way to set social media goals is to come back to the buyer funnel and set objectives for each stage of this journey:

  • Awareness-stage goals: at this point in the buyer journey, your ideal customers are only just starting to realize they have a problem that needs to be solved. So, your main objective is to get your brand name out there and begin introducing who you are and what you do. Your goals at this stage are likely to include:
    • Follower growth: how many new Instagram users are choosing to follow your brand on Instagram?
    • Profile visits: how many users are heading to your Instagram profile to learn more about your business?
    • Reach: how many unique users are seeing your content or posts on Instagram?
    • Impressions: how many times is your content being viewed by audiences on Instagram?
  • Consideration-stage goals: at the consideration stage, the name of the game is building trust and rapport. You want to use educational, value-driven content to connect with your target audience, showcase your expertise and give them a reason to remember you. Your goals at this stage are likely to include:
    • Engagement rate: is your engagement rate increasing month-on-month?
    • DMs: are your followers proactively reaching out to you via Instagram DMs?
    • High-value engagements: are users saving, commenting on and sharing your content?
  • Decision-stage goals: at the decision stage, we want to see your audience taking meaningful action. This is all about driving conversions, whether that’s making a sale, visiting your website or downloading your app. Your goals at this stage are likely to include:
    • Website visits: how many users are heading to your website from Instagram?
    • In-app sales: are you using Instagram Shopping? If so, how many sales are you making through this social shopping experience? 

Make sure to get really specific about the goals you’re setting and assign specific targets and timelines to every objective. With milestones and KPIs (key performance indicators) mapped out, you’ll be able to review your progress and hold your Instagram marketing accountable for success.

Step 2: Identify your target audience 

One of the best ways to grow your Instagram presence and craft memorable social media content is this: get a clear understanding of who you’re trying to reach. 

From where they live to what brands they already trust to when they’re active on social channels, you need to have a clear insight into the behaviors, pain points and motivators of your target market. This will help you design the type of content that speaks their language, resonates with their needs and compels them to take action. 

So, how can you identify and map out your target audience? Here are a few prompts to get you started:

  • Demographic: where do your ideal customers live? What do they do for work? How old are they? Are they married, single, divorced or something in between? Be clear about the type of person you’re trying to reach and attract.
  • Pain points and challenges: consider the roadblocks they might be facing or problems they need to overcome. How can your businesses’ products or services help them?
  • Goals and aspirations: what goals do they have? What does success look like to them? Use these motivators to understand how your businesses’ products and services can help them reach their goals.

If you’ve been posting to Instagram for a while, you can easily dive into your Instagram Insights give you the analytics tools to see where your audience lives, how old they are and their gender. Plus, you can pair this with your sales or website data to get a clear understanding of your target audience. 

Step 3: Clarify your tone of voice 

How you speak to your audience is just as important as what you have to say. That’s why defining your brand voice is important to succeeding on social media. By crafting a unique tone of voice that is memorable and authentic, you can capture your audience’s attention and ensure they remember you. 

While picking your brand colors is important, creating a brand voice that speaks the language of your ideal customers is even more important. Your tone of voice needs to encapsulate your brand values, what you stand for and your market position. 

Not sure where to start? Here are a few ways to bring your tone of voice to life in your social media strategy:

  • Voice characteristics: what adjectives would you use to describe your brand’s personality? Whether you’re cool and casual or prim and proper, curate a list of descriptors that clearly define how your brand should speak.
  • Voice dimensions: how formal or conversational is your brand? Are you upbeat and passionate or laid-back and irreverent? Make sure to decide where your brand sits when it comes to your tone of voice dimensions.
  • Do’s and don’ts: writer’s rules are a fantastic way to bring your brand voice to life. Do you use emojis in your Instagram captions? Is slang appropriate, or would you rather stick to formal phrasing? Be prescriptive and explain what is and isn’t on-brand for your businesses’ copywriting.
  • On-brand and off-brand examples: plus, give a stack of practical templates and examples of how your brand should sound. By having a list of examples and banks of phrases, your team will be empowered to capture your tone of voice accurately in every single Instagram post.

Step 4: Develop purposeful content pillars 

Content pillars or themes are broad categories used to anchor your Instagram content. They help to speed up your content creation process by giving you a set of big-picture themes to come back to when planning your posts. 

The key to developing a winning Instagram strategy is to design content pillars that align with your goals and objectives. That will ensure that every single piece of content you share is working towards a business or brand objectives. 

Broadly speaking, your content pillars should align with these objectives:

  • Content that entertains: these are posts that inspire your audience, give them a reason to laugh or build an emotional connection with your brand. This will help to boost brand awareness and lift your engagement rate.
  • Content that educates: these posts should teach your audience something new, showcase your expertise or build trust with your audience. These posts will help to increase your reach and increase your engagement rate.
      
  • Content that engages: these posts should drive action from your audience, whether that’s signing up to your mailing list, following your brand or shopping your latest products through Instagram Shopping. 

With the right mix of content pillars, you’ll be able to develop a content strategy that attracts your ideal customers and gives them a reason to engage with your brand. 

Step 5: Design your Instagram aesthetic 

The final piece of your Instagram strategy needs to be developing a compelling and consistent visual identity. From the colors and fonts on your Instagram Stories to the slides of your next Instagram carousel, every post you share needs to align with your brand identity. 

To bring your Instagram aesthetic to life, you’ll need to define:

  • Your brand colors: select a handful of primary and secondary colors that are consistent across all of your marketing touchpoints, including your Instagram content.
  • Your brand fonts: select one or two fonts that will be used consistently across your posts to make your content instantly recognizable.
  • Your photography guidelines: whether you have your own branded imagery or are curating stock imagery, make sure you use the same filter and aesthetic across all your photography.
  • Your graphic templates: by designing a stack of different branded templates using your brand fonts and colours, you’ll speed up your content creation workflow and will ensure every post feels on-brand. 

8 ways to grow your Instagram presence

Let’s dive into a bunch of tactics and strategies you can implement today to build your Instagram presence and use your Instagram account as a business asset. 

Switch to an Instagram Business profile 

First up, having the right Instagram account in place is key to your success through social media marketing. Unlike a Personal profile, an Instagram Business profile gives you access to a number of helpful features to help you grow your following, measure your success and reach the right audience. 

With a Business profile, you’ll gain access to:

  • Instagram Insights: from assessing your follower growth to tracking the performance of your posts, these Instagram analytics are key to tracking your performance and measuring your success.
  • Instagram ads: paid social advertising is a fantastic way to reach your target audience on the Instagram app. From brand awareness to conversion, you can run specific campaigns tailored to your business goals to supercharge your results on Instagram.
  • Scheduling posts ahead of time: with a Business account, you’ll be able to leverage auto-posting features on scheduling tools like Sked Social. No more posting content on fly, and instead, you’ll be able to schedule your content ahead of time. 

Optimize your Instagram bio 

Did you know your Instagram bio is one of the most important parts of your marketing strategy? That’s right, your 150 bio and profile settings are what can help you make the biggest impact on your audience and inspire them to take action. 

Not sure where to start? Here are a few quick-wins to action today:

  • Add a keyword to your account name: whether you name your niche or core service offering, use your account name to boost your search visibility with a strategic search word.
  • Add a branded hashtag: inspire your audience to tag your business in their posts about you by adding a branded hashtag to your bio (and regularly use this hashtag throughout your post captions).
  • Inject a CTA into your bio: give your audience a reason to take action when they land on your profile by adding a clear CTA in your bio. Try directing users to visit your website or follow your brand’s Instagram page.
  • Use a link building tool as your bio link: use Sked Link to give your audience access to multiple web pages from one clickable link in your bio.
  • Update your contact details: from your phone number to store directions, make sure your contact details and contact buttons are up to date.  

Get to know your Instagram followers 

The best way to grow your Instagram presence is to make sure your content is tailored to your ideal audience. That’s why Instagram Insights are your ticket to success!

By regularly reviewing your audience insights, metrics and post-performance you can assess what topics resonate with your audience when your audience is online and what posts to avoid sharing. 

Bonus pro tip: why not run use the Poll sticker on Instagram Stories to get your new followers to weigh in on what posts they want to see from you?

Set a consistent posting schedule to engage your Instagram followers

The best way to build momentum on social media is to give your audience a reason to engage with your content. By posting at the same time every day or multiple times per week, you can boost your engagement rate and ensure your audience anticipates your content. 

By planning your Instagram posts out a week or even a month in advance, you can get all your content scheduled ahead of time. That means no more missed posts or going weeks between publishing content. 

By using a scheduling and social media management tool like Sked Social, you can keep your profile active and drive strong results from your content on Instagram.

Use hashtags on Instagram 

Did you know that strategic, relevant hashtags are one of the most powerful ways to boost your discoverability and reach on Instagram? These searchable keywords help your posts show up in the Instagram search results and boost your chances of being noticed on the explore Instagram feed.

Along with one or two branded hashtags, it’s worth adding up to five tailored hashtags to your post captions. Look for hashtags with good search volume and ensure these terms are directly related to your post, your business or what you do (and ensure you’re picking the right hashtags for your brand).

Tap into influencers and influencer marketing 

Influencer marketing is a smart way to boost your reach and presence on Instagram. By curating a list of on-brand influencers, you can get your businesses’ products and services in front of huge pools of your ideal customers.

By picking the right influencers to collaborate with and those who have an engaged audience that aligns with your target demographic, you can run strategic campaigns that boost your profile and drive sales.

The key is to set clear guidelines, approval processes and ensure you’re clear on the messages you want to communicate upfront.

Utilize Reels, Instagram Lives and Instagram Stories  

Instagram has a stack of content features that can help you to boost your results on the platform. Here are three key platform features to leverage to boost your presence on Instagram:

  • Reels: these are bite-sized, highly edited videos that can boost your reach on Instagram and help you get important messages across in pieces of short-form video content.
  • Instagram Lives: hosting a live video Q&A, product demo or interview broadcast can give your audience real-time access to you and your brand.
  • Instagram Stories: from running Polls and Quizzes to sharing links to your latest products, Stories are a great way to remind your audience to take action.

Run giveaways and contests 

Plus, a powerful way to grow your audience on Instagram is to run a giveaway or contest. Set up the contest mechanics (such as running a user-generated content campaign), share a branded hashtag and offer a lucrative prize to boost entries. Try making following your brand a condition of entry to grow your Instagram followers count, too.

And that’s a wrap! When it comes to social media marketing, a thriving Instagram presence can help you boost your sales and conversions at scale. By developing a social media strategy, using the right tools and sharing high-quality content you can reach, attract and convert your ideal audience on auto-pilot. 

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